Mein Kampf, which means “My Struggle” or “My Fight” is Hitler's autobiography in which he outlines his ideology and political plans for Germany. After the failure that was the Beer Hall Putch in which Hitler and a group of men tried to overthrow the Bavarian government, he was sentenced to 5 years in jail for treason. He used this time to dictate his book to Rudolf Hess and it was eventually published in two volumes, respectively in 1925 and 1926. Hitler's views were popular at the time, his book sold close to 9,500 copies within its first year. He originally wanted to call the book “4 ½ years of struggle against lies stupidity and cowardice” but was advised to rather keep the name short.
Contents of Hitler's Autobiography
Apart from an autobiography about Hitler's youth and upbringing, Mein Kampf was also a bit of a blueprint of what Hitler had in store for what he called the Third Reich. If other European countries had taken Hitler seriously at the time and read this book they would have known what plans Hitler had for the expansion of Germany.
Hitler's Jewish Conspiracy Theory
He painted the Jews as a threat, with a conspiracy to take over the world. He also emphasizes that before he went to Vienna, he was very tolerant toward Jews as he had not met any Jews previously. He claims to have only changed his mind later on and then describes his Aryan philosophy in detail.
Types of Humans
Hitler divided humans into several categories, depending on physical appearance, to determine the different types of humans. The Aryan race (Germanic, fair-skinned, blond hair and blue eyes) is, according to him, the master race and culturally superior.
Doing People a Favor By Conquering their Lands
Hitler also argues in his book that lower people actually benefit if they are conquered by Aryans, as they learn from them and start to develop culture. Aryans were also not to inter-marry with other, lowly human types, a philosophy that later resulted in the passing of certain marriage laws in Germany.
Hatred of Communism and Judaism
Hitler believed that Communism and Judaism were the world's two greatest evils. Hitler also described the goal to create a “living space” for German people to live up to their “historic destiny” in his book and openly stated that Germany had to acquire land in the East by invading parts of Russia.
Flawed Parliamentary System
In is book, Hitler blames the Weimar Republic's parliament, the Social Democrats, the Marxists and the Jews for Germany's demise. He wanted to destroy the parliamentary system, which he thought to be corrupt in essence, calling the people who come to power opportunists.
This article is part of our larger selection of posts about Adolph Hitler. To learn more, click here for our comprehensive guide to the life of Adolph Hitler.